Testosterone drug prescriptions for men aged 40 and older have increased more than threefold over the last decade, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for men who use the treatments.
A 2014 study found that testosterone users younger than 65 with a history of heart disease may have as much as a three-fold increased risk of heart attack, and all testosterone users over 65 may be doubling their heart attack risk. Another study published in 2013 found a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke and sudden death in older men taking testosterone drugs.
After these studies were published just months apart, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it will evaluate the possible association between testosterone and heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events. In the announcement, the agency reminded the public that prescription testosterone drugs are only approved for men who have low testosterone, also known as low T, in conjunction with an associated medical condition.
Testosterone drugs are “mass, uncontrolled experiment that invites men to expose themselves to the harms of a treatment unlikely to fix problems that may be wholly unrelated to testosterone levels.”
– Dr. Lisa Schwartz and Dr. Steven Woloshin of Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice
However, testosterone drugs may still be prescribed to treat problems that may not be caused by a medical condition. Some of these symptoms include:
- Decrease in sex drive
- Lack of or decrease in energy
- Loss of enjoyment
Prescription testosterone may have seemed like a good solution for millions of men who suffered from low T symptoms. But they may have made a different decision about taking testosterone if the drug manufacturers warned them about the possible increased cardiovascular risks. For some, it may be too late.
Contact Anapol Weiss if you or a loved one suffered a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event while using a testosterone drug.